Mark Noble

Noble: I’m proud of the boys’ efforts

West Ham United Club captain Mark Noble admitted he was disappointed to have come away from Stamford Bridge empty-handed on Sunday – but was also full of pride in his teammates’ efforts against Chelsea.

With a view to keeping players fresh ahead of the upcoming UEFA Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt – the Club’s first major continental semi-final in 46 years – Noble was part of a much-changed line-up named by manager David Moyes in west London.

The No16 made only his second Premier League start of the season at Stamford Bridge, but helped marshal his team to what looked like what would have been a creditable 0-0 draw away to their third-placed hosts.

That was, at least, until the final five minutes of the game, when Chelsea saw a penalty saved by Łukasz Fabiański in an incident which also saw Craig Dawson - the Hammers' only fit senior centre-back - sent off, moments before Christian Pulisic struck from close range as the clock spilled over into injury time.

Nevertheless, given the number of changes to the Hammers’ team and the nature of the opposition they were up against, Club captain Noble was proud of their efforts – and felt they bode well for the upcoming occasion of a European semi-final...

It was probably a little bit of naivety from us at the end. 

It’s how we’ve been all season: we went a man down, saved a penalty and still tried to go and win the game. That’s a credit to the players and the squad. 

I’m so proud of the boys today. We made five or six changes and were playing with one recognised centre-half. I thought the boys who came in were great and probably deserved a little bit more. 

I know that Chelsea are always going to have the ball at home and create chances, but the way we defended and stuck by it… it was just a bit of a shame at the end.

Mark Noble at Chelsea

You have to stick to your task. 

It’s like with teams coming to us – they know we’re going to put them under pressure at times and you have to be resilient. For Chelsea to be able to bring on Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, who scored the goal… 

I’m just gutted because I thought the boys who came in and the squad deserved more, but that’s football for you. We’ve got to pick ourselves up. 

We’ve got a fantastic occasion on Thursday which we’re really looking forward to.

Because we’ve had so many games this year, the manager’s done it [rotated his team].

Against Manchester United away and Manchester City at home, we changed near enough the full team – so he knows he can trust his players and he knows the boys are good enough to do it. 

I’m just really proud of them because we’ve put in a great shift and I’m just gutted at the end. I thought a 0-0 draw would’ve been perfect for us.

I really enjoyed [starting at Stamford Bridge]. I felt really good. 

It does help when you’ve got a group of players that work hard and press and do the hard things right, it helps me out a lot, but I really enjoyed it. I’m just gutted for the players at the end.

I think the whole Club, the West Ham world, everyone involved in the Club is going to look forward to Thursday’s game. 

We’ve got three or four days now to be able to plan, have a look at Eintracht Frankfurt and see where we go from there. I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic occasion.